In 2004, in response to the findings of a major global study, The Real Truth About Beauty: A Global Report, which had revealed that only 2% of women around the world would call themselves beautiful, Dove launched the “Campaign for Real Beauty”. The main intention of this campaign by Dove was to give out this message that women’s unique differences should be celebrated, rather than ignored. It aimed at making physical appearance a source of confidence rather than a source of anxiety or inferiority complex. They used different means of communication such as TV commercials, magazine spreads, talk shows, and a worldwide conversation via the internet.
One of the greatest achievements of the Dove Campaign is that it initiated a global conversation to widen the definition of beauty. The main issue was the repeated use of unrealistic, unattainable images which pose restrictions on the definition of beauty. Dove sought to change the culture of advertising by challenging beauty stereotypes, they selected real whose appearances are outside the stereotypical norms of beauty e.g., older women with wrinkles, overweight women. The real women were likeable and attractive to their female audience because they were relatable and provided a “fresh” perspective within the media.
Dove campaigns have also brought in real life guests and through their interviews and thoughts conveyed a message to the audience that parent, friends, or even spouses, nobody should be pointing out imperfections in others and rather make people around them feel confident in their own skins.
Beyond simply making people feel good about the company, what Dove has so successfully done is reframe the function of purchasing their beauty products and toiletries from one focused on utilitarian outcomes (such as the quality and price of the products – things that are virtually never mentioned in the ads) to one that is focused on expressing important values and connecting with others.
I personally believe that it was very refreshing to watch all these media products by Dove in contrast to the regular media that our audience in consuming which have built a very unrealistic image of perfection and beauty standards.